Rise of E-Commerce in Pakistan due to COVID-19

We cannot disagree with the fact that the entire world is going through crucial economic withdrawal. Pakistan, previously endeavoring to quicken its economic growth, is widely affected by this Covid-19 pandemic. And it will take some time for it to regain a better position in the world. With time the virus is intensifying the chaos amidst the population.

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Mobility startups such as Airlift, Swvl, Careem, and Uber have temporarily suspended their services to the people. Travel and tourism startups and On-demand startups are additionally intensely affected by this pandemic. Numerous large organizations have declared bankruptcy due to the circumstances. Due to legitimate need and to tackle the situation many are turning towards online shopping marking a huge growth in e-commerce.

For quite some time it was anticipated that everything will eventually go online, but it would happen under such disastrous circumstances took the customers and the suppliers by surprise. Many people who have feared online shopping are presently settling on it over in-store shopping causing a definite increase in demand for services and challenging the supplier. No doubt that over orders and shortage of supplies can be an upcoming problem for the companies.

According to PTA, internet utilization in Pakistan has increased 15% since the lockdown and it is said to rise if people head towards online shopping encouraging social distancing. The two largest e-commerce websites, Daraz and Cheetay are outstretching into each other domains to gain full profit and ease the situation.

During these difficult times, Daraz is extending its reach by putting forward its D-Mart channel which allows customers to shop for groceries online since people are avoiding supermarkets.

Cheetay has also introduced Pantry and Pharma to its platform along with basic errand services and long working hours. Cheetay also put forward a great initiative of contactless deliveries in these bad times to minimize human contact and reduce the chances of catching the virus.

The CEO of Cheetay, in their interview with The Profit, said that many departmental stores and other organizations have marked an agreement with them to satisfy the increasing surge in-home deliveries.

Even Foodpanda is back in service with the advancing thought of contactless deliveries, and to make it easier for its customers it has begun its very own Foodpanda Mart, a grocery provider service.

These e-commerce industries are now urging the government to ease the lockdown upon them to facilitate the population smoothly. Since the companies and their employees are strictly following the SOPs coordinated by the government and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently suggested that the virus can also spread through currency. Due to this, digital payments have had a great push since people fear to contract the virus through banknotes. Numerous vendors are now promoting the use of digital payments such as platforms like Cheetay are offering 50% cashback on Mastercard QR, SimSim, and JazzCash after their partnership with Bank Alfalah.

While the pandemic continues to wreck the world, e-commerce is surely benefitting a lot from it. The large e-commerce industries have already adapted to this online commerce as their new norm, keeping rigorous checks on everything. They are trying to win over small retailers and brands that were never ready to commit to online platforms to increase their retails. The research concludes that the largest sector of Pakistani retailers has accepted online commerce as a solution to profit during these times.

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